These testimonials show how therapy can help with relationship difficulties.
Testimonial on using CBT and EMDR following a hurtful breakup
I came across Sarah on the Counselling Directory website and chose to contact her because she looked warm and friendly which is exactly what you want when you are feeling a bit low. I had experienced a break up which was unexpected and caused me a lot of hurt and left me feeling confused and wanting to know answers. Sarah used a combination of CBT and EMDR. After the first session of EMDR I no longer felt the pain and hurt that I was originally feeling and during the following week between our sessions the whole situation no longer felt as bad. I never imagined that I would feel okay again so quickly and I can't thank Sarah enough for this. I now feel that I would be ready to face another relationship without fear of hurt or rejection. Thank you Sarah!
(Female, aged 26)
When I first found Sarah I was struggling to cope with the basic things in life on a day-to-day basis. Alongside this I had difficulties with intimacy. I had lost my sense of reality and capacity to cope in many situations. I easily felt overwhelmed in private and social settings and as a result began to avoid my family and social events. I felt lost, lonely, weird and stupid.
The realization at the age of 25 that I had been abused around the age of seven by a neighbour turned my life upside down. I lost confidence in my ability to trust my judgment in all matters in my life. It affected my job and relationship, both of which I left a year later. At this point I doubted I would ever be in an intimate relationship again. I was having nightmares and lived in a high state of anxiety. I couldn’t even shower without what felt like panic flowing through my veins.
I came to see Sarah at the age of 29 and using EMDR we processed my traumatic memories. Initially I was nervous and unsure what to expect. However, within a relatively short time I began to see some benefits. My anxiety started to reduce. I started to trust my decisions and gut instinct again. My heightened panic reduced.
Now aged 30 I am in a balanced relationship. In fact I would call it “fantastically balanced” in all aspects including intimacy. That is such a relief. It feels normal to be intimate with my partner.
I trust my decisions. I know life has its ups and downs and I am finding I can manage these. I am confident I can cope well enough going forward.
(Female, aged 30).
I came for therapy at a stressful time when my relationship was misfiring. The smallest thing was causing anger levels to rise in both of us and situations would escalate quickly. I decided to try therapy on my own first rather than go for couples counselling. Sarah and I explored how I responded to triggers. This was revealing in itself and provided me with the insight to develop alternative ways of behaving. My changes have reignited our relationship and developed a calmer atmosphere.
I have also taken what I have learnt into the workplace to assist in developing more beneficial relationships with colleagues and peers.
(Male aged 36)
When I came to see Sarah I lacked self-confidence and belief in myself. I was experiencing problems with my relationship. I started to think of myself as a failure in this area and then gradually it started seeping into other aspects of my life.
Sarah taught me how to distance myself from some of the beliefs I had about myself. I realised I had been defining myself by some past experiences and the problems in my relationship.
I feel positive and confident at the moment. I have put things in perspective. I feel more contented and at ease with myself. I feel able to deal with life’s challenges.
(Female, aged 41)
Testimonial on recovering from a traumatic breakup – using CBT and EMDR
I was consumed with thoughts about the event and the aftermath. It affected my confidence, my personality, my sleep and my general passion for life. I felt very lost and felt like I was just drifting. I got no enjoyment out of life and I was reliving the events over and over without actually meaning to do so.
From the minute, I came to see Sarah, I felt at ease and felt I could trust her. She took me seriously. She gave me time to speak and I felt she really listened. She seemed to say the right things at the right time and meant it. She gave me coping strategies for different triggers. She allowed me to explain my life story and helped me realise that this issue was connected to underlying issues which had not properly been dealt with. Even though I thought I had dealt with them.
I enjoyed the EMDR because I felt a real shift each session. I could feel myself physically change. When I first came, I didn’t think I would get to this place that I am now within this time period. I have implemented changes that I want to continue doing for the rest of life, because they have such a positive effect. When I think back to when I first came, there is just such a change!
(Female, aged 28)